With today’s massive amount of online advertising from Facebook ads, website banners and email marketing bombarding consumers, companies are struggling to stand out from the crowd with their own marketing efforts. That’s why now, more than ever, businesses need to cultivate brand loyalty if they’re going to survive in today’s competitive marketplace. One proven tool for keeping customers continually engaged with your brand is a custom developed mobile app.
Research proves that this is certainly a smart move to make for increasing branding and selling efforts. For example, the average American spends up to 162 minutes a day on his or her mobile device, with the majority of that time (86 percent) spent using apps.
Apps are not only an opportunity for businesses to be front and center with their customers but to really engage with them as well. On the other hand, if the app is found faulty or ineffective, the company’s brand reputation could be ruined. So how do you choose the right app for your business? There are a few different approaches you could take; however, native and hybrid apps, described below, are the two most common:
Native: These apps are developed for a particular operating system and written in the language specific to it. For example, a native app developed for iOS won’t work on an Android device, and vice-versa.
Hybrid: These apps are essentially Web applications in the native browser that enable developers to use Web technologies to target multiple mobile platforms from one single code base.
A native app can be more expensive and can take longer to develop; however, it will also deliver the best user experience since it’s written in the platform’s native language and is installed directly on the hardware (that is, the user’s device). In contrast, a hybrid app can significantly reduce the time and cost associated with building and maintaining a mobile application, since it can be updated in one location.
For this reason, a hybrid app is very appealing to a lot of companies; however, selecting a hybrid app can be a crucial mistake in some cases. Here are four ways a hybrid app can hurt your business …
1. Features that require native code: Your development team may be limited by the capabilities of your hybrid app’s framework, as some very pertinent features require native code. It’s wise, therefore, to decide what features you’ll need before building your hybrid app, as you may not be able to access native features that haven’t been made available or implemented by the framework. For example, if you’re a restaurant owner and want to launch a mobile marketing campaign, you’ll be out of luck when it comes to accessing your customers’ SMS, as this feature requires a native code.
What’s more, when there’s an update on the app’s design, if the new feature hasn’t been implemented by the app platform then the app can’t be updated without writing plug-in code yourself (or paying someone else to do it).
2. Bug proliferation: Developing a hybrid mobile app adds an extra layer, expanding the area where a bug may exist. Not only do the frameworks potentially have bugs, but when developers create a code for one platform, it can lead to degeneration errors, meaning another bug.
4. Non-optimal user experience: Your customers may have come to expect a certain level of experience when using an application on their platform; consequently, if your app doesn’t deliver, you could lose them to a competitor. Unfortunately, by most accounts, even the best hybrid apps don’t come close to the performance and fluid transitions of a native app. So, if you’re the owner of a design firm, for instance, a native app may be the better choice. Hybrid apps are not only unable to create detailed animation, they appear sluggish during transitions and have modest memory usage.
While a hybrid app, with its multiple platforms and ease of development, is an enticing choice, it could in some cases do more damage than good. At the end of the day, however, it’s most important that you choose an app that’s best-suited to your business’ and customers’ needs.
Author bio: Rick Wangen
Founder and VP of Operations at UpTop
header image courtesy of: Altaf Pinjari